Episodes

  • SummaryDavid McCloskey (Twitter; Website) and James Stejskal (Twitter; LinkedIn) join Andrew to discuss writing about espionage. They are both former intelligence officers. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceWhat it is like writing spy fiction as a former practitionerHow fact informs fictionWriting as a former analyst compared to as a former operator (James) Reactions by the intelligence community to practitioners-turned-authorsReflectionsThe heaven and hell of being an author The process of getting a processAnd much, much more…Episode NotesHear two intelligence formers discuss life as current novelists. Where does fact end, and fiction begin when you are a former CIA officer writing fiction? What parts of your own story bleed into the novel? Are the characters composites of people you knew in your line of work or are they entirely fictional? To answer these questions and more, this week, I sat down with David McCloskey, former CIA analyst and author of Damascus Station, a book David Petraeus described as “the best spy novel I have ever read,” and James Stejskal, author of Appointment in Tehran, which has been called “a textbook clandestine operation involving…US Army Special Forces and a clandestine CIA Case Officer,” which James would know something about, since he was both. And…Spy fiction received quite the blow in the space of a 6-month period (Dec 2020-May 2021) which saw the passing of both John Le Carre and Jason Matthews, two formers who served in British and American intelligence. Le Carre was in MI5 and MI6 while Matthews had a long career in the CIA. David and James join a distinguished cast of formers who became novelists, including Ian Fleming, Graham Greene and Dame Stella Rimington. Quote of the Week"There are far more edits on, short articles I wrote that weren't even going to the president than on the book, so your writing is being critiqued at all levels. I I think when I did write for the PDB [Presidential Daily Brief], I don't think I'm making this up, I believe it was 9 or 10 layers of review. You could probably argue that sometimes that makes it worse, but you have to be able at all stages to roll with the punches and to write and to try to make things very clear." – David McCloskey.ResourcesHeadline ResourcesDamascus Station, D. McCloskey (2021)Appointment in Tehran, J. Stejskal (2021)Andrew’s RecommendationThe Looking Glass War, J. Le Carre (1965)Le Carre doubles down on disabusing the public’s romanticization of intelligence *SpyCasts*“Snake Eaters, Detachment A, CIA” – James Stejskal (2022)“American Spy” – Lauren Wilkinson (2021)“Red Widow” – Alma Katsu (2021)“American Traitor” – Brad Taylor (2021)“The Evolution of Spy Fiction” - Wesley Wark (2011)Beginner Resources15 Best Espionage Novels, M. Warwick, Mal Warwick On Books (2022) [article]Novelists Who Became Spies, C. Cumming, Crime Reads (2019) [article]Best Spy Novels According to a Spy, A. Katsu, Crime Reads (2021) [article]BooksMissions of the SOE and OSS in WWII, J. Stejskal (Casemate, 2021)Special Forces Berlin, J. Stejskal (Casemate, 2017)On Writing, S. King (Scribner, 2010)Spy Fiction, Spy Films & Real Intelligence, W. Wark (Routledge, 1991)ArticlesNine Examples of Spy Fiction Books, Masterclass (2021)How to Write a Spy Thriller, Masterclass (2021)How End of Cold War Changed Spy Fiction, J. Ciabattari, BBC Culture (2014)VideosAll the Old Knives, O. Steinhauer, SPY (2022)Spy Writing in the Real World, Hayden Center (2021)The Spy Writers You Love to Read, SPY (2020)Primary Sources American Observer, CIA (1970)Barry Farber Show, CIA (1970)*Wildcard Resource*The Riddle of the Sands, E. Childers (1903)An early spy novel that presaged the anti-German “spy fever” that struck allied countries before and during WWI

  • SummaryJanosh Neumann (LinkedIn; Website) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss life in the FSB. He was born in the Soviet Union to parents in the “business.” What You’ll LearnIntelligenceWhy Jan defected to the United StatesHow you get recruited and trained as a Russian intelligence officerWhat it is like to recruit and run agents in MoscowHis take on what he did for the Russian stateReflectionsLearn to connect with anybodyMaking a life-changing and potentially life-ending decisionAnd much, much more…Episode NotesHave you ever wondered how a Russian intelligence officer is trained? Ever wondered what it would be like to be a defector? Ever wondered what it’d be like to be given three choices, shoot yourself, get shot, or go on the run?If so, you’ll enjoy this week’s episode with Jan Neumann, who was born Alexy Yurievich Artamonov in the former Soviet Union. Jan’s father was a KGB internal affairs officer, and he would go on to join one of its successors, the FSB, or Federal Security Service, in which his wife also served. He speaks about a number of projects he is involved in, here in the States, where he now resides.And…Jan is the Co-Founder of RealSpyComics, which will be the first independent comic publisher dedicated to telling true intelligence stories. The International Spy Museum is a partner on this venture, because if there is one thing, we have a lot of – its spy stories!Quote of the Week"I'm not a big fan of ballet, but one of my sources was a big ballet fan. So, I had to go to the Bolshoi Theater, watch this again, and again, and again, I had to do some learning to be able to talk to the guy. And same thing was happening with the art as well. so going to some galleries and talk to the people, be sure that they're using at least same terminology as they are, to be able in the future to support the conversation, be interesting to this person whom you're trying to approach." – Janosh NeumannResourcesHeadline ResourcesRussian Spy, American Defector: with Janosh Neumann, YouTube, 2020“Almost American, 1-5,” Aftershock Comics (2021-22)Andrew’s RecommendationRussian Intelligence, K. Riehle (NIU, 2022) [download entire book here for free)*SpyCasts*“Dealing with Russia” – Jim Olson (2022)“KGB Spy & NCIS Agent” – Jack Barsky & Keith Mahoney“The Spymaster’s Prism” – Jack Devine (2021)“The Corrupted State” – Ilya Zaslavskiy (2016)Beginner ResourcesIntroduction to the Three Main Arms of Russian Intelligence, Globe & Mail (n.d.) [video]Putin, Power & Poison: Russia’s Elite FSB Spy Club, BBC (2018) [article]From Spy to President: Rise of Putin, Vox (2017) [video]Federal Security Service (FSB), Britannica (n.d.) [article]BooksPutin’s People, C. Belton (William Collins, 2021)Return of the Russian Leviathan, S. Medvedev (Polity, 2019)Near & Distant Neighbors, J. Haslam (FS&G, 2016)The New Nobility, A. Soldatov & I. Borogan (Public Affairs, 2010)MemoirsSpymaster: My 32 Years in Espionage Against the West O. Kalugin (Basic, 2009)Special Tasks: A Soviet Spymaster, P. and A. Sudoplatov (Little Brown, 1994)ArticlesHow Two Russian Defectors Helped the FBI, B. Denson, Newsweek (2016)Russian Defectors in Oregon, C. McGreal, Guardian (2015)VideosLubyanka Federation: How the FSB Determines the Politics and Economics of Russia, Atlantic Council (n.d.)Washington Station: My Life as a KGB Spy, Y. Shvets, C-Span (1995)Primary Source Collections [All Wilson Center]Intelligence Operations in the Cold WarThe Mitrokhin Archive The Vassiliev Notebooks*Wildcard Resource*KGB Members from Ahmed to Yuri, courtesy of Marvel Comics!

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  • SummaryChris Costa (LinkedIn; Website) and John Quattrocki (LinkedIn; Website) join Andrew to discuss coming in from the Cold War. They both had long illustrious careers in intelligence.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceTwo Cold War intelligence experiencesTwo perspectives on the U.S. intel. community in the 80’s & early 90’sTwo reflections on the art and science of counterintelligenceTwo perspectives on serving on the National Security CouncilReflectionsCareer bookends “Inadequate war termination”And much, much more…Episode NotesThe Windy City Episode. The Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML) in Chicago is well worth a visit. Located on Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan – there’s three additional attractions right there – you will not be disappointed. SPY teamed up with PMML to put on what would become this week’s episode.To discuss coming in from the Cold War intelligence landscape, Executive Director of SPY Chris Costa and AFIO board member John Quattrocki sat down for a panel discussion with Andrew. Chris, a former intelligence officer of 34 years with 25 of those in active duty in hot spots such as Panama, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, is also a past Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism on the NSC. John retired from the Senior Executive Service (SES - 4) as a Special Agent of the FBI with 19 years of operational experience against the Soviet Union/Russia, the Warsaw Pact, East Asia, Islamic extremist groups, and domestic terrorism. He also served on the NSC as the Director of Counterintelligence Programs.And…Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s mission is to “increase the public’s understanding of military history.” The International Spy Museum’s mission is to “educate the public about espionage and intelligence.” As you can see, then, in the military-intelligence-espionage national security continuum, we are pretty much as good a partnership as it gets. Quote of the Week"The government has seen the counterintelligence (CI) resources as a kind of a human capital escrow account to draw on for other elements to the government. And in, so doing, we have started to lend our CI bodies to the private sector. So, we are providing indirect cost support to the private sector for their CI responsibilities, rather than causing them to acquit all their own CI responsibilities." – John Quattrocki"I was not entirely satisfied with the idea of being between wars, because we were trained as infantry men. Our job was to prepare to go to war. And then I said, you know what? I wanna fight against our adversaries on a different plane, multilevel chess, if you will. And that's what brought me into the intelligence business." – Chris CostaResourcesHeadline ResourceVideo of the live event featuring Chris & John at PMML in Chicago, YouTube*SpyCasts*"The FBI Way" - Frank Figliuzzi (2021)“Army Intelligence” –Mary Legere (2016)“The CI Professional” – John Schindler (2016)Beginner ResourcesCold War Overview, Khan Academy (n.d.)HUMINT vs. Counterintelligence, Clearance Jobs (2020)BooksTo Catch a Spy, J. Olson (GUP, 2019)U.S. Army CI Handbook (Dept. of Army, 2013)Double Cross, B. McIntyre (Crown, 2013)ArticlesThe Best Books on Counterintelligence, J. Olson, Shepherd (n.d.)An Anatomy of Counterintelligence, A.C. Wasemiller, SII (1994)Terms & Definitions of CI, FAS (2014)WebsiteCounterintelligence, FBIPrimary SourcesNational CI Strategy, 2020-22 (2020)The Spy Who Loved Her (1994)A Review of US CI (1986)Church Committee Report (1976)Summary of the “CIA Family Jewels” (1975)*Wildcard Resource*“Gerontion,” T.S. Elliott (1920)This poem is the origin of the phrase often associated with CI: “the wilderness of mirrors.”

  • SummaryAlexis Albion (LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss Kim Philby using some of his personal belongings as prompts. This episode on the Soviet mole inside MI6 coincides with SPY’s 20th Anniversary.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceWhy Philby has been called “The Spy of the Century”Philby the man, the ideologue, the spy, and the traitorPhilby’s corrosive effect on Cold War British and American intelligenceThe cultural blind spot that allowed him to hide in plain sight then ride a storm of suspicion ReflectionsPsychological complexity and contradictionSocial stratificationAnd much, much more…Episode NotesThe Cambridge Five are some of the most notable and notorious traitors in British history, and among them one man stands out in a way that has led some to call him, “The Spy of the Century,” MI6 officer Kim Philby. How did a quintessential Englishman who came from the “right” stock and went to the “right” schools become a Soviet mole? How did a genial chum come to haunt the corridors of British and American intelligence like a ghastly apparition? Dr. Alexis Albion is this week’s guest and the Curator of Special Projects at the International Spy Museum. She was formerly on the 9/11 Commission Report, the World Bank and the U.S. Department of State.In this is a first of a kind podcast, Alexis and Andrew sat down with some of Philby’s personal belongings drawn from our world-leading collection of artifacts on espionage and intelligence. And…Harold Adrian Russell Philby acquired the nickname “Kim” from the main character in Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim, an orphan-boy-cum-spy in British India. Kim and Philby also have the Punjab in common, the novel begins in Lahore and Philby was born in Ambala, although the historic region was partitioned between Pakistan and India in 1947. The drive between Lahore and Ambala is roughly similar to that between Los Angeles and San Francisco.Quote of the Week"So why is he The Spy of the Century? Maybe the fact that he's not identified with any particular event or set of information [e.g., unlike Julius Rosenberg], but he's identified with this idea of betraying his Englishness is perhaps why he's been such a lasting figure because he almost is a touchpoint for the history of the 20th century and England. Great Britain's demise is a great power." Resources*Andrew’s Recommendation*My Five Cambridge Friends, Y. Modin (FS&G, 1994)A one-time KGB handler of the Cambridge 5 reflects on each of them as spies and as individuals*SpyCasts*Stalin’s Englishman: Guy Burgess – with Andrew Lownie (2016)The British the Joint Intelligence Committee – with Mike Goodman (2014)The Real History of MI6 – with Keith Jeffrey (2010)The Cambridge 5 – with Nigel West (2009)*Beginner Resources*Facts About Kim Philby, J. Hayes, Factinate (n.d.)Reading Material Culture [i.e., objects] (2020]India’s Partition in Pictures, BBC (n.d.)BooksSpies & Traitors, M. Holzman (Pegasus, 2021)A Spy Among Friends, B. McIntyre (Crown, 2015)Kim, Rudyard Kipling (1901)ArticlesThe Punjab Partition, S. Sultan, LSE (2018)Philby & Mistrust, M. Gladwell, New Yorker (2014)DocumentaryWhy Was India Split into Two Countries, H. Roy, TED-Ed, YouTube (n.d.)MI6 Agent Turned Russian Spy, Philby, Timeline, YouTube (n.d.)Primary SourcesPhilby, I Spied for Russia from 1933 (1967)My Silent War, K. Philby (1967)The Disappearance of Kim Philby (1963) Kim Philby (Peach): File 1 (1951-52)Constituent Assembly of India (1946)Primary Source CollectionsIndian Independence & Partition, UK National Archives*Wildcard Resource*Surnames & Social Mobility in England, 1230-2012So, you thought social mobility in England has changed significantly since the Norman Conquest almost 1000 years ago – well, yes, and NO!

  • SummaryJim Olson (Website) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss Putin and Russia. He had a 31-year career with the CIA including a tour in Moscow.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceHis views on Russia and its trajectory since the Cold War’s endHis frank assessment of Putin and admiration for the Russian peopleHis time in Moscow with 3 rotating KGB teams surveilling himHis time as Chief of Station in the city of spies ViennaReflectionsA “beautiful marriage” with American technology Passing the generational batonAnd much, much more…Episode Notes“James Olson is a legend in the clandestine service,” not my description of this week’s guest, but that of former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Jim spent 31 years in the CIA, including tours in Moscow, Vienna & Mexico City, and rose to become Chief of CIA Counterintelligence. He is the author of Fair Play and To Catch a Spy. He joined Andrew to speak about Russia. He speaks the language, spent time living and working in the country, where he was involved in one particularly daring operation that he shares with us in the episode, and he faced off against the organization that would go on to become the current SVR and FSB – the KGB.Jim has had Vladimir Putin on his radar for many a year, and he doesn’t pull any punches reflecting on his trajectory in this episode.And…Jim grew up in a small town in Iowa where, “we didn’t really follow international affairs, we joked among ourselves…if it didn’t affect the price of corn, we weren’t really interested.” My, how things changed for Jim.Quote of the Week"I have tremendous respect for the Russian people. They are long suffering. I've gotten to know many Russians. I've worked with a lot of Russians. I found them to be people who had a real soul. They had a human qualities that I could admire, but they were locked into a repressive regime that did not allow them to express any of those human sentiments that that they felt." – Jim OlsonResourcesHeadline ResourceTo Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, J. Olson (GUP, 2019)Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying, J. Olson (Potomac, 2008)*SpyCasts*“The Spymaster’s Prism” – with Jack Devine (2021)“Russians Among Us: The Hunt for Putin’s Spies” – with Gordon Corera (2020)“The Corrupted State” – with Ilya Zaslavskiy (2016)“Putin’s End Game in Ukraine” – with KGB General (Retd.) Oleg Kalugin (2014)Beginner ResourcesTo Catch A Spy with J. Olson, C-SPAN (2020) [9:44 minutes] The Best Books on Counterintelligence, J. Olson, Shepherd (n.d.)Putin’s Revisionist History of Russia and Ukraine, I. Chotiner, New Yorker (2022)BooksPutin’s People, C. Belton (Picador, 2022)Operative in the Kremlin, F. Hill & C. Gaddy (Brookings, 2015)One Soldier’s War in Chechnya, A. Babchenko (Portobello, 2008)ArticlesFormer CIA Leader Said LinkedIn is Like a Candy Store to China, C. Burgess, ClearanceJobs (2022)New Documentary Series Explores Pollard Affair, H. Brown, Jerusalem Post (2022)J. Olson First Recipient of “The Spirit of Aggieland – 41 Award,” J. Adams, KAGS (2022)Ex-CIA Chief on Accused Chinese Spymaster, P. Christian, WCPO (2021)VideosTo Catch A Spy with J. Olson, Houston World Affairs Council (2020)Primary SourcesJames Collins Oral History, US Ambassador to Soviet Union, 1997-2001 (n.d.)Jack Matlock Oral History, US Ambassador to Soviet Union, 1987-1991, (n.d.)Ukraine: Memo. On Security Assurances (1994)Belovezha Accords, Eyewitness Account of Former Belarus Soviet Leader (1991)*Wildcard Resource*What Classic Russian Literature Can Teach us about Putin’s War on Ukraine Putin is a big fan of Dostoevsky – who underwent a mock execution & four years of hard labor in Siberia for belonging to a literary discussion group feared by the Tsarist autocracy.

  • SummaryJohn Gise joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the Wall of Spies Experience. It features over 200 stories of espionage and sabotage in America since 1776.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceAmerica’s first SpymasterThe Founding Father of American Counterintelligence The New Yorker who adopted a Southern accent so she could spy on the Confederacy The escaped enslaved man who was described as a “walking order of battle chart” ReflectionsEducating a workforce on its pastDreaming about historyAnd much, much more…Episode NotesThe Wall of Spies Experience features over 200 stories of espionage, sabotage and betrayal from American history. The physical wall is a private museum on an intelligence community facility, but the second installment of the Digital Wall of Spies has recently been released. Thus far we have the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, with WWI coming up next. Whether you want to get a sense of the evolution of espionage in America, dork out on a particular historical period, or just have a browse – we are sure you will agree that this National Counterintelligence & Security Center (NCSC) sponsored exhibit is a welcome contribution to the public’s understanding of the history of intelligence and espionage.This week’s guest is John Gise, for whom the Wall of Spies was a labor of love. He has had a number of different roles across the US government, including a stint in Special Forces, but for now, spies from American history are with him while awake…and while asleep. And…If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t visit the Statue of Liberty’s torch, you need to listen to the teaser John provides at the end of this episode on the next installment of the Digital Wall of Spies (we’ll give you a clue…it’s the opposite of White Jerry).Quote of the Week"We've now posted online…the digital revolutionary war spies, the digital civil war spies…And we're talking in the revolutionary war about 30 continental army spies and British spies…for the civil war, it's about 25 Union spies and Confederate spies. And many of those spies are also Scouts, right? Collecting information, going behind enemy lines, conducting reconnaissance missions and collecting intelligence for their superiors." – John Gise.ResourcesHeadline ResourceThe Wall of Spies Experience (Digital) *SpyCasts* “Birthplace of American Espionage” - Spy Sites of Philadelphia (2021)George Sharpe and the BMI: A Conversation with Peter Tsouras (2019)Washington’s Spies: An Interview with Alexander Rose (2015)Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War (2014)Intelligence and Espionage in the U.S. Civil War (2012)BooksThe Creation of American Military Intelligence in the Civil War, P. Tsouras (Casemate, 2018)Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War (GUP, 2014)The Secret War for the Union, E. Fishel (Houghton, 1996)ArticlesAudacious Confederate Spies, G. Brockell, WaPo (2022)The Wall of Spies, M. Rosenwald, WaPo (2019)Intelligence Agency Unveils New Weapon to Deter Spies – A Museum, J.J. Green, WTOP (2019)Primary SourcesJohn McEntee to George H. Sharpe [Charley Wright’s intel on location of Lee's army] 1863)Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot – Pinkerton Papers [Kate Warne] (1861)The Federalist Papers: No:64 (John Jay, 1788)Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies (1778-1781)Benedict Arnold Letter to John André (1780)John André Letter to Joseph Stansbury [for Benedict Arnold] (1779)Letter, George Washington to Benjamin Tallmadge (1779)*Wildcard Resource*Fraunces Tavern, New York CityIf you want to connect to Revolutionary War espionage, grab an ale, a seat by the fire, and muse (they also have a museum!)

  • SummaryVikram Sood (Twitter, Blog) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss intelligence in the world’s largest democracy. He was the chief of India’s Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW). What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe intelligence landscape in India China, Pakistan, and the intelligence challenges in the regionThe founding and evolution of the Research and Analysis Wing The pressure involved in the top job and being responsible to the Prime MinisterReflectionsThe power of narratives Spies can be sensitive souls tooAnd much, much more…Episode NotesThis is the final installment of our month long special on SPY CHIEFS, featuring Vikram Sood. former Director of India’s foreign intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (RA&W). This episode from the vault was recorded during the darkest days of the pandemic when the International Spy Museum was closed, infections and deaths were sky high, and Andrew was at home in his living room with Vikram at his in New Delhi. So, is the R&AW similar to the CIA or MI6 or both? Does it have a covert action capability? How focused is it on China and Pakistan? Who does the Director report to? To hear the answers tune in to listen to an Indian Spy Chief who was in office in the critical years 2000-2003. Vikram was in the intelligence business for more than thirty years, since leaving as the professional head of India’s foreign intelligence agency he went on to have a successful second career at the think-tank, Observer Research Foundation, which is based in New Delhi. He is the author of two books (see below).And…Depending on the source, India has more, a little less, or roughly the same number of Muslims as Pakistan. An incredible fact when you consider that Pakistan is generally in the top five for having the largest population in the world. In fact, India has a larger population than the United States, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria combined. Quote of the Week"There is immense tension in the job because anything can go wrong any day and you will be held responsible if there is another bomb blast somewhere else. But if the leadership is supportive and it's understanding, and also contributes to helping you decide things, takes decisions for you that need politically clearances. That helps a lot that takes away the anxieties, it keeps the blood pressure down." – Vikram SoodResourcesHeadline ResourceThe Ultimate Goal: R&AW Chief Deconstructs how Nations Construct Narratives (Harper India, 2020)The Unending Game: A Former R&AW Chief’s Insights into Espionage (Penguin, 2018)Beginner Resources[Video] How Was R&AW Started: Story of India’s External Intelligence Agency, WION (2022)[Article] RAW: A History of India’s Covert Operations, Yatish Yadav, New Indian Express (2020)BooksThe War that Made R&AW, A. Nandakumar (Westland, 2021)JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War, B. Riedel (BIP, 2015)Intelligence Elsewhere, P. Davies & K. Gustafson (GUP, 2013)The Kaoboys & R&AW, B Raman (Lancer, 2012)India’s External Intelligence, V.K. Singh (ManasPub, 2007)ArticlesHistory of RAW, Sachidananda Mohanty, Frontline (2022)A Peek Into India’s IB and RAW, Amjed Jaaved, Pakistan Today (2022)Inside R&AW, Rahul Bedi, The Wire: India (2020)Quiet Americans in India, P. McGarr, Diplomatic History, 38(5), 2014 (1046-1082)VideosEx-Israel Spy Chief Talks Intelligence Cooperation with India, The Quint, YouTube (n.d.)Ex R&AW Chief Vikram Sood Gives a Glimpse of the World of Spies, The Quint, YouTube (n.d.)*Wildcard Resource*“The James Bond of India”Real-life spy Ajit Doval who spent years undercover in PakistanHe is currently the National Security Advisor of India!

  • SummaryEllen McCarthy (Twitter; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss her career and time as head of the State Department’s intelligence agency. INR is one of the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceHer start as a Soviet submarine analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence Bringing the U.S. Coast Guard intel. program into the Intelligence Community (IC) Working for DoD and Geospatial-IntelligenceWhy she admires the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) ReflectionsGovernment/for-profit/non-profit lifeManaging complexity and change And much, much more…Episode NotesImagine seeing a pyramid from different angles and different heights instead of from one vantage point? You get a better sense of what it truly looks like, its dimensions, colors, idiosyncrasies, and the shadows it casts, right?Ellen McCarthy has seen more of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) pyramid than most: she started as a junior analyst for the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence and ended up as the head of the State Dept.’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). Along the way, she was with the U.S. Coast Guard, in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Quite the journey, I am sure you will agree…And…INR has been called the “biggest little intelligence shop in town” and its morning intelligence summary, “Better than Wheaties.” The NYT called it the “least wrong” intelligence agency on Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and it has been credited for a more accurate assessment of Ukraine’s ability to withstand Russia than its peers. “They get paid attention to because they’re good and they tend to be contrarian,” notes a former chair of the National Intelligence Council. How do they manage this? Well, big question, but the deep, deep expertise of their staff – who are on average on their regional or functional area for over a decade – as well as an “intolerance for mediocrity” would be good places to start.Quote of the Week"The Geographer of the United States sits in INR. I don't think a lot of people know that. So, when there's a boundary dispute or you've got countries trying to build islands, it's INR that's actually working what the legal boundaries are. The other thing that INR does that a lot of folks don't know about is polling. Polling in the intelligence community is conducted at INR…And I will tell you that the polling capability at INR is the best I've ever seen." – Ellen McCarthy Resources*SpyCasts*“State Department Intelligence: Inside the INR” – INR Leadership (2020)Beginner ResourcesBureau of Intelligence and Research, Wikipedia [webpage]Learn About the Smallest Organization in the IC, YouTube (n.d.) [1:45 minute]Geographer of the United States, YouTube, (2011) [13:24 minute]Books“Intelligence Informs Policymaking at DoS: INR,” T. King in T. Juneau, ed. Strategic Analysis in Support of Policymaking, R&L (2017), pp. 95-110.Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis & National Security, T. Fingar, SUP (2011)INR, Intelligence & Research at State, U.S. DoS (1973)ArticleThe U.S. Intelligence Community Needs a ‘Wild Bill’ Moment, E. McCarthy & M. Scott, Cipher Brief (2021)VideoSPYCHAT: Ellen McCarthy & Chris Costa, YouTube (2021)The New IC: Ellen McCarthy Keynote, YouTube (2019)FedMentor: NGA’s Ellen McCarthy, YouTube (2014)Primary SourcesINR: 2025 Strategic Plan (2022)Oral History with Teresita Schaeffer (1998)Oral History with Thomas F. Conlon (1992)Oral History with Frank Burnet, (1990)Oral History with Daniel Zachary (1989)*Wildcard Resource*The Ralph J. Bunche LibraryState Dept. Library named after OSS intelligence analyst, diplomat & Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Bunche

  • SummaryEllen McCarthy (Twitter; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss her career and time as head of the State Department’s intelligence agency. INR is one of the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceHer start as a Soviet submarine analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence Bringing the U.S. Coast Guard intel. program into the Intelligence Community (IC) Working for DoD and Geospatial-IntelligenceWhy she admires the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) ReflectionsGovernment/for-profit/non-profit lifeManaging complexity and change And much, much more…Episode NotesImagine seeing a pyramid from different angles and different heights instead of from one vantage point? You get a better sense of what it truly looks like, its dimensions, colors, idiosyncrasies, and the shadows it casts, right?Ellen McCarthy has seen more of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) pyramid than most: she started as a junior analyst for the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence and ended up as the head of the State Dept.’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). Along the way, she was with the U.S. Coast Guard, in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Quite the journey, I am sure you will agree…And…INR has been called the “biggest little intelligence shop in town” and its morning intelligence summary, “Better than Wheaties.” The NYT called it the “least wrong” intelligence agency on Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and it has been credited for a more accurate assessment of Ukraine’s ability to withstand Russia than its peers. “They get paid attention to because they’re good and they tend to be contrarian,” notes a former chair of the National Intelligence Council. How do they manage this? Well, big question, but the deep, deep expertise of their staff – who are on average on their regional or functional area for over a decade – as well as an “intolerance for mediocrity” would be good places to start.Quote of the Week"The Geographer of the United States sits in INR. I don't think a lot of people know that. So, when there's a boundary dispute or you've got countries trying to build islands, it's INR that's actually working what the legal boundaries are. The other thing that INR does that a lot of folks don't know about is polling. Polling in the intelligence community is conducted at INR…And I will tell you that the polling capability at INR is the best I've ever seen." – Ellen McCarthy Resources*SpyCasts*“State Department Intelligence: Inside the INR” – INR Leadership (2020)Beginner ResourcesBureau of Intelligence and Research, Wikipedia [webpage]Learn About the Smallest Organization in the IC, YouTube (n.d.) [1:45 minute]Geographer of the United States, YouTube, (2011) [13:24 minute]Books“Intelligence Informs Policymaking at DoS: INR,” T. King in T. Juneau, ed. Strategic Analysis in Support of Policymaking, R&L (2017), pp. 95-110.Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis & National Security, T. Fingar, SUP (2011)INR, Intelligence & Research at State, U.S. DoS (1973)ArticleThe U.S. Intelligence Community Needs a ‘Wild Bill’ Moment, E. McCarthy & M. Scott, Cipher Brief (2021)VideoSPYCHAT: Ellen McCarthy & Chris Costa, YouTube (2021)The New IC: Ellen McCarthy Keynote, YouTube (2019)FedMentor: NGA’s Ellen McCarthy, YouTube (2014)Primary SourcesINR: 2025 Strategic Plan (2022)Oral History with Teresita Schaeffer (1998)Oral History with Thomas F. Conlon (1992)Oral History with Frank Burnet, (1990)Oral History with Daniel Zachary (1989)*Wildcard Resource*The Ralph J. Bunche LibraryState Dept. Library named after OSS intelligence analyst, diplomat & Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Bunche

  • SummaryMike Burgess (Website; Twitter) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss his agency and the enduring strength of Australia’s alliances. ASIO is the second intelligence agency he has directed.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe Australian idea of “mateship” in the intelligence contextThe Australian intelligence landscape The United States as its most important strategic allianceThe enduring value and historical uniqueness of the FIVE EYES allianceReflectionsHow Man. Utd. might help us understand leadershipThe frustrations of watching spy fiction on TV as a practitioner And much, much more…Episode NotesThe top job: what is it like? what are the joys and pains of leadership? This is not like leading a business, though, or a soccer team, this is protecting the country and its citizens from terrorism, espionage, sabotage, and external interference. Such is the charge of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).To address these questions, Andrew sat down with Mike Burgess, who was formerly the Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), comparable to GCHQ and the NSA – an agency would serve in for over 20 years. They also discussed the Australian intelligence landscape and its most important alliances, such as the U.S. and FIVE EYES and some of its important regional relationships. And…Mike and Andrew hit it off, especially when discussing Alex Ferguson and how soccer can help us understand management and leadership. Ferguson won more titles in soccer than any other manager, at 49, and he is generally considered the GOAT or a strong contender. Of course, trophies are extremely important, but they do not capture everything. If you are looking for an example of transformational change of an entire organization and its subsequent culture, HBS could do a lot worse than draft a case study on the legendary leadership of Liverpool F.C. by Bill Shankly. He made people believe.Quote of the WeekTalking about FIVE EYES, that's one of those foundational partnerships in our relationships…It's unique because…it was born through WWII. It's an interesting phenomenon because it started its life as a signals intelligence relationship…at its core, it's an intelligence relationship that really has made a difference to each of those five nations’ respective national security…And we do trust each other, and we share our most intimate secrets.Resources*SpyCasts*“Keeping Secrets/Disclosing Secrets” – with Spy Chief turned DG of Australia’s National Archives David Fricker (2022)“Desperately, Madly in Love” – Brett Peppler and the Australian IC (2021)Beginner ResourcesAustralian Intelligence Community, Wikipedia [webpage]Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) [Website]Why I Spy, M. Burgess, YouTube (n.d.) [60 second video]Intelligence Professionals FAQ, ASIO, YouTube (n.d.) [2:32 minute video]Virtual ExhibitionSpy: Espionage in Australia (NAA)BooksSpies & Sparrows: ASIO & the Cold War, P. Deery (2022)Between Five Eyes, A. Wells (2020)Intelligence & the Function of Government, D. Baldino & E. Crawley (2018)The Official History of ASIO – 3 Volumes, D. Horner, J. Blaxland, R. Crawley (2014/2015/2016)ReportIntelligence Oversight: A Comparison of the FIVE EYES Nations, C. Baker et.al., Parliament of Australia (2017) Primary SourcesDirector-General’s Annual Threat Assessment (2022)Foreign Espionage: An Australian Perspective, ASIS DG (2022)ASIO Internal Message on Vietnam War (1970)Surveillance of the Aarons, Communist Party Australia (1966) Counterespionage Film, ASIO (1963)Citizenship for former Soviet Spies, Petrovs (1956)*Wildcard Resource*Sydney vs. Melbourne: The Real Canberra StoryIf you’ve ever wondered why Canberra is the capital…

  • SummaryPaul Lashmar (Twitter, Website) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss investigative journalism and intelligence. He is a former UK Reporter of the Year. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe similarities and differences between spooks and journalists The role Watergate played for his generation of journalists Intelligence overseers as “Ostriches,” “Cheerleaders,” “Lemon-suckers,” or “Guardians”Bellingcat, Spycatcher and the “Zinoviev Letter”ReflectionsThe long shadow of the Second World WarInvestigative journalism in democratic societiesAnd much, much more…Episode Notes“Cardiac stimulating experiences,” is how this week’s guest describes meeting sources in smoky IRA pubs in Belfast all on his lonesome. But he also met sources in the oak-paneled clubs of Whitehall and in many other places around the world. So, what has our guest distilled from his long career examining intelligence agencies? What are the types of relationships spooks and journalists have had with one another? What are the similarities and differences between both tribes?To answer these questions and more, Andrew sat down with investigative reporter and current Head of the Dept. of Journalism at City, University of London, Paul Lashmar. Paul has worked across the media landscape, as a producer for the BBC, as a broadcast journalist with British current affairs television program World in Action, and as an investigative journalist for the Observer newspaper. He won Reporter of the Year in the 1986 UK Press Awards. He is the author of Spy Flights of the Cold War, Britain’s Secret Propaganda War, and most recently Spies, Spin and the Fourth Estate. And…World in Action was a legendary investigative TV program in the U.K. It’s programming led to the resignation of a Home Secretary, one of the Great Offices of State in the UK; the release of the Birmingham Six, who were wrongfully convicted of planting IRA bombs; and the exposure of Combat-18, a violent neo-Nazi movement. It would also publish the original story of the Spycatcher allegations that the head of MI5 was a Soviet mole and that there had been a joint MI5-MI6 plot to overthrow Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Paul co-wrote that 1984 episode. For all these reasons and more, it was rarely out of the courts. The last series was broadcast in 1998. Quote of the Week"They would meet you in an up-market club in the center of London…it's leather Chesterfields, gentleman walking around getting your gin and tonic. It was all of that, in those days it was all informal…there are now in most newspapers, somebody who is usually appointed by the editor who maintains those connections… it's a sensible arrangement." – Paul LashmarResourcesHeadline ResourceSpies, Spin and the Fourth Estate, P. Lashmar (EUP, 2021)*SpyCasts*The Women of NatSec Journalism – 6 Leading Journalists (2017)Covering Intelligence (2015)Part 1: with Mark MazzettiPart 2 – with Ali WatkinsPart 3 – with Greg MillerBooksZinoviev Letter, G. Bennett (OUP, 2020)Spies and the Media in Britain, R. Norton-Taylor (IBT, 2018)Spinning Intelligence, R. Dover and M. Goodman (CUP, 2009)Spycatcher, P. Wright (Viking, 1987)Beginner ArticlesUK Officials Still Blocking SpyCatcher Files, Guardian (2021)The Zinoviev Letter, FT (2018)When Spy Agencies Didn’t Exist, BBC (2014)ArticlesWhy Good Investigative Journalism Matters (2022)Obituary: Peter Wright, Independent (1995)Documentary“World in Action,” YouTube (n.d.)Primary SourcesThe Spy Who Never Was [World In Action] (1984)Moscow Orders to Our Reds [Daily Mail Accusation] (1924)Zinoviev Denies Writing Letter (1924)Zinoviev Narrative of Facts [TUC & Labour Party] (1924)*Wildcard Resource*How Bellingcat is Using TikTok to Investigate the War in UkraineInvestigative journalism, Bellingcat style!

  • SummaryAdmiral Hernando Wills Velez (Twitter) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss intelligence in Colombia. He is the former professional head of the Colombian Navy.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceWhat it is like to be the head of an entire NavyIntelligence from the point of view of a senior military officerThe unique set of challenges Colombia faces – insurgents, terrorists, paramilitaries, drug-cartels, etc.The role intelligence played in the daring Operation Jacque ReflectionsThe blessings and curses of geography Capacity building in organizationsAnd much, much more…Episode NotesTo hear more about his remarkable career as former professional head of the Colombian Navy, and to discuss Colombia and intelligence, Andrew sat down with Admiral Hernando Wills Vélez. Colombia and its navy must reckon with a unique combination of challenges – including Marxist insurgents, right-wing paramilitaries, drug cartels, crime syndicates, and a vast and diverse territory. To sum up, it is a remarkably fascinating case-study for the role intelligence might play.Admiral Wills was also the commander of the Pacific Fleet, head of the Colombian Coast Guard, and a former aide de camp to the President of Colombia. His father was a career military officer who served in the Korean War with the Colombian Navy. He is an NDU graduate.And…“Operation Jacque.” This episode coincides with a pop-up exhibit at our museum on a 2008 Colombian intelligence-led operation to rescue 15 hostages held for many years by the FARC, a Marxist guerilla group who were involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and terrorism. 3 Americans and 12 Colombians were rescued, including a candidate for the Colombian presidency. Bottom line: all the hostages were freed from deep within the rainforest without a single shot being fired. Intelligence baby, intelligence. Quote of the Week"Time goes so fast. I joined the Navy when I was 15 years old, very young. I finished high school. in the Naval academy. And then you start your regular business as a young lieutenant in ships and destroyers and positions on land. And all of a sudden, you see yourself as an admiral. I mean, it's a crazy thing…[then] I had the privilege to be selected by the president to lead the Columbia Navy." – former Head of Columbia's Navy Admiral Hernando Wills.ResourcesHeadline Resource“Operation Jacque,” International Spy Museum, Spring-Summer 2022BooksColombia: A Concise Contemporary History, M. Larosa & G. Mejía (R&L, 2017)Out of Captivity: Surviving 1967 Days in the Colombian Jungle, M. Gonsalves, et al. (W. Morrow, 2009)Beginner ArticlesColombia Profile – Timeline, BBC (2018)Colombia – CIA World Factbook, CIA (2022)Colombia Marks One Year Anniversary of Jaque, Reuters (2009)Colombia – Navy, Global Security (n.d.)ArticlesAnchoring the Caribbean: The Colombian Navy, W. Mills, Stable Seas (2021)Colombia & Operation Jacque, L. Collins, Modern War Institute (2021)Plan Colombia and the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group, K. Higgins, Taylor Francis (2021)Plan Colombia: Effectiveness & Costs, D. Mejía, Brookings (2016)Globalization & FARC, J. Forero, USAWC (2013)FARC: A Portrait of Insurgent Intelligence, J. Gentry & D. Spencer, INS (2010)VideosFARC Hostage Rescue Video – Operation Jacque, CBS (2008)Primary SourcesRevocation of Terrorist Designation for FARC, A. Blinken, State (2021)Plan Colombia – Staff Trip Report, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (2005)Plan Colombia, U.S. Role – Hearing, House Subcommittee on the W. Hemisphere (2000)NSC 1 – Carter Panama Canal Directive (1977)Letter to U.S. Senators From Carter – Panama Canal (1977)*Wildcard Resource*One Hundred years of Solitude (novel), Embrace of the Serpent (movie), or Adventures of an Orchid Hunter (travel memoir) – take your pick!

  • Summary
    Peter Earnest spent 35 years in the CIA as a case officer and retired as its chief spokesman. He was the founding Executive Director of the International Spy Museum.

    What You’ll Learn
    Intelligence

    Losing a friend in the line of duty vs. betrayal by a colleague 

    Using affability to your advantage

    Thoughts on the shift from classic espionage to counterterrorism for the CIA 

    The relationship between the CIA, the press and the public

    Reflections

    The origins of the International Spy Museum

    The role museums can play in fostering a sense of collective identity & esprit de corps 

    And much, much more…

    Episode Notes
    May 21st, 2022. The date of the Memorial Service at the International Spy Museum for Peter Earnest, the founding Executive Director of the museum and a 35-year veteran of the CIA and. In honor of him, his week’s episode is an exit-interview he recorded with my predecessor, Vince Houghton, not long after Peter announced his retirement from the museum.
    Peter was a case officer at CIA for 25 years, largely in Europe and the Middle East, recruiting and running agents, and getting involved in covert actions, counterespionage, and double agent operations. He later went on to work in the Inspector General’s office and as the CIA’s Senate liaison, concluding his career as the CIA’s chief spokesman. 
    What is it like being a nice guy in the murky world of intelligence? How does a tight-lipped case officer make the transition to chief spokesman? How did a museum on espionage and intelligence end up in Washington D.C.?
    Peter Earnest died on February 13, 2022. He will be sorely missed.
    And…
    Peter wrote the foreword for a 2011 edition of Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell’s classic book, My Adventures as a Spy, featuring chapters such as “Commercial Spying,” “Traitorous Spying,” and “How Spies Disguise Themselves.” The only CIA officer who came through the ranks to become Director, Robert Gates, was an Eagle Scout, as was the only Director of both the CIA and the FBI, Judge William Webster.

    Quote of the Week
    "There's a broad respect from museums by the American public they're distrustful of almost everything else, but the trust in museums is high, and so I think it's a place that some of those senior professionals refer to. If they've come down, they feel, it's, doing good work." – Peter Earnest

    Resources
    Headline Resource
    TRIBUTE: CIA Veteran Who Helped Launch the Spy Museum, Dies at 88, International Spy Museum, YouTube (2022)
    *SpyCasts


    Peter Earnest: My Life in the CIA (2012)
    Articles


    In Memoriam, Peter Earnest, 1934-2022, SPY (2022)


    CIA Veteran who Ran a Spy Museum, Dies at 88, NYT (2022)


    CIA Veteran Who Helped Launch Spy Museum, Dies at 88, H. Smith, WaPo (2022)


    Family of Spies, Washingtonian Magazine (2013)

    Books


    The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy, P. Earnest (Harper, 2009)


    Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA, P. Earnest & M. Karinch (AMACOM, 2010) 


    Harry Potter and the Art of Spying, P. Earnest & S. Harper (Wise Ink, 2014)

    Primary Sources


    Soviet Defector Arkady Shevchenko Dies, WaPo (1998)


    Emily A. Earnest, Consular Office Obituary, WaPo (1994)


    CIA Officer Richard Welch Murdered in Athens, CIA (1975)


    CIA COS Richard Welch Murdered in Athens, Counterspy Magazine Blamed for his Death, British Pathe (1975)

    *Wildcard Resource*

    Colbert Classic, Spy Training with Peter Earnest, Comedy Central (2013) Go to 3:31 

  • SummaryLis Wiehl (Twitter, Website) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the FBI Agent Robert Hanssen. His espionage for the Russians was described as the “worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.” What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe many contradictions of this fragmented personalityThe criminal sworn FBI AgentThe sexual fetishist in Opus DeiThe anti-communist Soviet spyHanssen’s impact on the FBI and American IntelligenceHow the Hanssen case effected the FBI-CIA relationship ReflectionsTechnology’s impact on the espionage/counterespionage cat-and-mouse gameCultural and institutional blind spotsAnd much, much more…Episode NotesThe International Spy Museum has the handcuffs that were put on one of the most notorious spies in American history, former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen. But what was the backstory of the moment those metal restraints closed around his wrists in Foxstone Park, Virginia? What did he do? Why did he do it? Who was this man? What damage did he do?To discuss these questions, Andrew sat down with the author of A Spy in Plain Sight, Lis Wiehl. Lis is a former Federal Prosecutor and a legal analyst and reporter on major news networks, including a 15-year stint at Fox News. She is the best-selling author of 20 fiction and non-fiction books and last but not least she is the daughter of an FBI Agent who heard stories of Hanssen’s betrayal from her father.Hanssen betrayed “jewel in the crown of American intelligence, Dimitri Polyakov, and other U.S. assets, as well as handing over thousands of pages of highly classified information to the Soviet Union and later Russia.And…In the intelligence community compartmentalization is a way to try to protect sensitive information, caveats, codewords, clearances, read ins, need to know, etc., but in the personal context it refers to being capable of being a “different person in terms of outlook, values and behavior at different times and circumstances.” David Charney met with Hanssen for an entire year after his arrest and described him as “the most compartmentalized person I have ever met.” He also mentions that he is a very experienced psychiatrist. Charney says in terms of compartmentalization most of us are a 1-2 on a scale of 10. Guess where Hanssen was?Quote of the Week"At one point hacked into one of his colleagues’ computers to get more information, he was found out and his excuse was, I was just trying to show you how easily we're hacked into so that we can make sure that we don’t, and they believed him because he was a computer guy…they just believed him when he hacked in this other person's computer. Crazy." – Lis WiehlResourcesHeadline ResourceA Spy in Plain Sight, L. Wiehl (S&S, 2022)*SpyCasts*“The FBI Way” - Counterintelligence Chief Frank Figliuzzi“Leningrad, Molehunts, and Life After the CIA” - Christopher Burgess (2021)“Defending a Spy, An Espionage Attorney” - Plato Cacheris (2015)“The Movie Breach and Hollywood’s Take on Espionage” – Eric O’Neill (2007)“FBI Counterintelligence and the Robert Hanssen Spy Case” – Dave Major (2007)BooksNew History of Soviet Intelligence, J. Haslam (FS&J, 2015)Spy Handler, V. Cherkashin, (Basic, 2008)ArticlesSpy Who Kept Cold War Cold – Polyakov, History (2019)Spy Psychology/Insider Spies, NOIR (2014)Death of the Perfect Spy – Polyakov, Time (2001)VideosCharney on What Makes Traitors Tick? SPY (2014)Primary SourcesWitness to History at SPY, Hanssen Investigation (2013)Review on FBI Performance Detecting Hanssen, OIG (2003) A Review of FBI Security Programs, Webster Commission (2002)Sandy Grimes Interview on Polyakov (1998)*Wildcard Resource*Inside the Supermax Prison (Florence, Colorado) Hanssen is here alongside Harold James Nicholson, El Chapo, Ramzi Yousef and Terry Nichols

  • SummaryMike Susong (Website; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss CIA, cyber and corporate intelligence. He won the Intelligence Star for Heroism in the Field.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceApplying aspects of Mike’s training to the private sector using “competitive intelligence” Mike’s role co-founding a pioneering company in the field of Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI)The role of technology in enabling and constraining espionage What drew Mike to an annual free-thinking social experiment in the desert ReflectionsEntrepreneurial thinking as unwavering belief in an ideaThe difference between working for Uncle Sam and working for corporate AmericaAnd much, much more…Episode NotesAndrew sat down with W. Michael Susong for a two-parter to discuss CIA, cyber and Burning Man. Last week in PART I we looked at Mike’s time working for the CIA and in the domain of human intelligence, while in PART II we will focus on his time as an entrepreneur and intelligence leader in the cyber threat intelligence and competitive intelligence spaces.Mike was a U.S. Army major who completed multiple combat tours and a CIA case officer. He went into the private sector and created competitive intelligence programs for Fujitsu and Ernst & Young, and he was a pioneer in the field of cyber threat intelligence or CTI, creating the first programs for Visa and Pacific Gas & Electric. He is both CISM and CPP certified and a Black Rock Ranger.And…Black Rock Rangers are volunteers at Burning Man, an annual event that focuses on artistic expression, spiritual regeneration, and radical inclusion. It culminates in the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy, known as “The Man.” If you want to explore the event or the ideas that propel it, including its roots in the Californian counter-culture and its Silicon Valley connections, you can do so here, here, here, here, here, and here.Quote of the Week"I worked with, with two corporations to build competitive intelligence programs, for them…I want to emphasize that's the ethical application of certain aspects of the intelligence cycle, to support a business decision. So, this was more on the analysis piece, some on collection, and certainly when you start to speak of collection within a private sector environment, you have to have clear, bright lines aloud about what is and is not acceptable." – Mike SusongResourcesHeadline ResourceApplication of Intelligence Principles to Raise IT Security, M. Susong, YouTube (2012)*SpyCastsFrom the CIA to Strategic Cyber – Hans Holmer (2022)Cyberattacks, Espionage & Ransomware – Inside Microsoft’s MSTIC (2022)ArticlesStart a Competitive Intelligence System that Wins, P. Mertens, Sprout Social (2022)Gathering Competitive Intelligence From Twitter, S. Argawal, Startup GrindWebsitesCompetitive Intelligence Resources, SCIPPBR (Projects, Briefs, Reports) 2022 State of Competitive Intelligence, SCIP/Crayon (2022)CTI: Applying Better Terminology to Threats Intelligence, A. Greer, SANS (2021)Understanding Cyber Threat Intelligence Operations, Bank of England (2016)CoursesCyber Threat Intelligence, SANSCyber Threat Intelligence, Threat Intelligence AcademyPodcastsCyber Threat Intelligence, Hacking Humans (2020)Intelligence Operations: A First Principle of Cybersecurity, CSO Perspectives (2022)Video2022 State of Competitive Intelligence, YouTube (2022)A CEO’s Perspective on Intelligence, Report Linker (2020)Primary SourcesLetter to CIA Deputy Director on Competitive Intelligence (1986)*Wildcard Resource*The Whole Earth Catalog (1968)Steve Jobs called it “the bible of his generation” and links have been made between it and Silicon Valley, Cyber, and Burning Man.

  • SummaryMike Susong (Website; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss CIA, cyber and corporate intelligence. He won the Intelligence Star for Heroism in the Field.What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe outgrowth of “intelligence” from a nation-state activity to a corporate activityRecruiting and running agents as a CIA case officerHis shift from tactical intelligence to strategic intelligenceHis journey from a curious kid with a short-wave radio to an intel professionalReflectionsEffective decision-making and intelligenceThe opportunities and challenges of working in different fields and domainsAnd much, much more…Episode NotesWhat is it like to do intelligence for Uncle Sam and then for the private sector? What is different and what is similar? How did intelligence go from supporting national security decision-making to business decision-making? To answer these questions, Andrew sat down with W. Michael Susong for a two-parter. PART I will focus on Mike’s time working for the CIA and in the domain of human intelligence, while PART II will focus on his time in the as an entrepreneur and intelligence leader in the cyber threat intelligence and competitive intelligence spaces.Mike was a U.S. Army major who completed multiple combat tours and a CIA case officer. He went into the private sector and created competitive intelligence programs for Fujitsu and Ernst & Young, and he was a pioneer in the field of cyber threat intelligence or CTI, creating the first programs for Visa and Pacific Gas & Electric. He is both CISM and CPP certified and a Black Rock Ranger.And…Black Rock Rangers are volunteers at Burning Man, an annual event that focuses on artistic expression, spiritual regeneration, and radical inclusion. It culminates in the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy, known as “The Man.” If you want to explore the event or the ideas that propel it, including its roots in the Californian counter-culture and its Silicon Valley connections, you can do so here, here, here, here, here, and here.Quote of the Week"It’s analogous to business. So, there's closers, people who are really the salesman…but then they're not good at the kind of that long-term relationship, reassuring, working over time…And so I would say that there are case officers who are better at spotting and recruiting, and there are case officers that are better at handling." – Mike SusongResourcesHeadline ResourceApplication of Intelligence Principles to Raise IT Security, M. Susong, YouTube (2012)*SpyCastsFrom the CIA to Strategic Cyber – Hans Holmer (2022)Cyberattacks, Espionage & Ransomware – Inside Microsoft’s MSTIC (2022)ArticlesStart a Competitive Intelligence System that Wins, P. Mertens, Sprout Social (2022)Gathering Competitive Intelligence From Twitter, S. Argawal, Startup GrindWebsitesCompetitive Intelligence Resources, SCIPPBR (Projects, Briefs, Reports) 2022 State of Competitive Intelligence, SCIP/Crayon (2022)CTI: Applying Better Terminology to Threats Intelligence, A. Greer, SANS (2021)Understanding Cyber Threat Intelligence Operations, Bank of England (2016)CoursesCyber Threat Intelligence, SANSCyber Threat Intelligence, Threat Intelligence AcademyPodcastsCyber Threat Intelligence, Hacking Humans (2020)Intelligence Operations: A First Principle of Cybersecurity, CSO Perspectives (2022)Video2022 State of Competitive Intelligence, YouTube (2022)A CEO’s Perspective on Intelligence, Report Linker (2020)Primary SourcesLetter to CIA Deputy Director on Competitive Intelligence (1986)*Wildcard Resource*The Whole Earth Catalog (1968)Steve Jobs called it “the bible of his generation” and links have been made between it and Silicon Valley, Cyber, and Burning Man.

  • SummaryNoah Hurowitz (Twitter; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss infamous drug kingpin El Chapo. A weak link in his cybersecurity set-up would help bring him down. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceEl Chapo’s internal surveillance operationThe cartel’s use of cryptography to keep communications covertHow cybersecurity enabled then brought down El ChapoThe role of the infamous DFS – a corrupt and now disbanded intelligence agencyReflectionsTechnology – early adopters vs. counter respondersThe changing nature of crime enabled by emerging technologies – spyware, drones, etc.And much, much more…Episode NotesJoaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo (shorty) because of his 5-foot 6-inch frame, was called by one of the agents chasing him, “the godfather of the drug world.” So, how did a low-level drug dealer from a provincial state rise to try and subvert the Mexican government to his will? What was the intelligence game that played out with regards to El Chapo? How did the cartels use spytech, tradecraft and cybersecurity to stay one step ahead of the law? How was he caught?To answer these questions and more, Andrew sat down with Noah Horowitz who covered the trial of El Chapo in Brooklyn for Rolling Stone magazine. Noah is also the author of the recent book El Chapo, and his work has appeared in the Village Voice, the Baffler and New York Magazine. And…In the El Chapo trial, question No.57 asked prospective jurors, “Are you familiar with Jesus Malverde?” If you are not familiar with this angel of the poor (el ángel de los pobres) as well as the Sinaloan narcos (el narcosantón), then you can find out why this question would be relevant here, here, here and here.Quote of the Week"So, in addition to encrypted communications…he was also installing spyware on Blackberry devices that El Chapo was giving out to his lieutenants and his girlfriends and his wives. And then EL Chapo was able to use this, the spyware program to see what was on their phones. He was able to see their text messages. He was able to see their locations. He was even able to remotely activate their mic and listen to them. And he loved that…it was like a toy to him almost. He became obsessed with it." – Noah HurowitzResourcesHeadline ResourceEl Chapo, N. Hurowitz (S&S, 2021)*SpyCasts*Drug Cartels, Sleeper Cells, the Waco Siege & the Mob - Dennis Franks (2021)BooksDope: History of the Mexican Drug Trade, B. Smith (W.W. Norton, 2021)Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs & Cartels, I. Grillo (Bloomsbury, 2021)ArticlesDrugs, Crime and the Cartels, CFR (2021)The Tech that Took Down Pablo Escobar, Wired (2021)Mexican Cartels Cyber Surveillance, C. Schilis-Gallego, Forbidden Stories (2020) Spy vs. Spy, El Chapo Edition, E. Groll, FP (2019)The Spyware that Brought Down El Chapo, S. Fussell, The Atlantic (2019)WebsitesEl Paso Intelligence Project (EPIC)Centro Nacional De Intelligencia (CNI) PBR (Projects, Briefs, Reports) Mexico: Evolution of the Merida Initiative, C. Seelke, CRS (2021)Mexico Organized Crime and Drug Traffickers, J. Beittel, CRS (2020)Primary SourcesEDNY Press Release on El Chapo Trial (2019)Memo in Support of Pre-trial Detention, USA vs. Joaquín Guzmán Loera (2017)Trial Transcripts of El Chapo Text Messages with His Mistress (2012)Official Report on Mexico’s “Dirty War” (2006)Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (1999)Primary Source CollectionsThe Mexican Intelligence Digital Archives (MIDAS)Inside The Cartel: Key Documents (LAT)*Wildcard Resource*“The Original Indigenous People of Sinaloa”To understand Joaquín Guzmán Loera, starting at the year of his birth, 1957, might be enough; but to understand “El Chapo” it might help to go deeper still…

  • SummaryDaniel Milton (Website; Twitter) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the former Caliph of the Islamic State. Al Mawla was killed in a U.S. raid in February 2022. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe origin of the term “Canary Caliph”The mythology of Islamic State and the realityBattlefield intelligence and understanding an enemyThe Combating Terrorism Center being on the radar of terroristsReflectionsThe presentation of “self”The relationship between organizational priorities and organizational hierarchiesAnd much, much more…Episode NotesDaniel Milton joins us again to discuss a series of interrogation reports of Al Mawla, at the time leader of Islamic law in Mosul for the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). ISI was the successor to Al Qaeda in that country and the predecessor of Islamic State (Islamic State is a larger umbrella category, while ISIS, ISKP, etc. come with geographical designations, e.g., Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Al Mawla gave up the names of over 50 people within his own organization: and that was only in the first 3 of 56 interviews. One interesting insight you can glean from the documents is that Islamic State while very different from many organizations in many respects, is just like them in others: empire building, clashing personalities, struggles over process, paperwork, committees, territorialism, jealousy, prejudice, insecurity – like The Office, but with much more malevolent intent.And…If you want to read a document that captures (a) an important inflection point in the transition from Al Qaeda to Islamic State and (b) was one of the West Point CTC publications captured during the Bin Laden raid, read “Al Qaeda Secedes from Iraq.”Quote of the Week"I think we get a sense of it as an organization that exists and has similar struggles as any other organization does. Having said that, clearly, it's a clandestine organization, and so one of the overriding imperatives is security. Individuals are trying to stay alive and not get arrested or killed. And that affects a little bit of the way that you carry out business. I do think that you also see some element of the things that you described. There is competition. There are people who don't like each other." – Daniel MiltonResources*Headline Resources*Al Mawla Interrogation Reports“Islamic State,” Mapping Militants, CISAC StanfordBooksEnemies Near & Far, D. Gartenstein-Ross (CUP, 2022)The ISIS Reader, Ingram et al. (Hurst, 2020)The Rise of Global Jihad, T. Hegghammer (CUP, 2020)Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad, D. Byman (OUP, 2019)Anatomy of Terror, A. Soufan (W.W. Norton, 2017)The Far Enemy, F. Gerges (CUP, 2005)Best Books on the Middle East (Five Books)ArticlesISIS Leader Quraishi Kills Himself, Al-Khalidi & Bose, Reuters (2022)ISIS’S Leadership Crisis, H. Ingram and C. Whiteside, Foreign Affairs (2022)The Islamic State in Afghanistan, A. Jadoon et al., CTC (2022)The Cloud Caliphate, Ayad et al., CTC (2021)Lessons from the Islamic State’s “Milestone” Texts and Speeches, Ingram et al., CTC (2020)Timeline: The Rise, Spread & Fall of the Islamic State, C. Glenn et al., Wilson Center (2019)DocumentaryIraq & Syria: After Islamic State, BBC (2018)Confronting ISIS, PBS Frontline (2016)ReportsIslamic State’s Method of Insurgency, H. Ingram, GW (2021)WebOperation Inherent ResolvePrimary SourcesPresident Biden on a Successful Counterterrorism Operation (2022)Cyber Command’s Internet War Against ISIL (2018)Islamic State Memo for Dealing with New Recruits (2017)Message to the Mujahidin and the Muslim Ummah, Caliph Al Baghdadi (2014)The Management of Savagery (2006) The Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916)*Wildcard Resource*“Camp Bucca Newsletter #1”A U.S. forces newsletter from the time-period when Al Mawla was interrogated at Camp Bucca, in the vicinity of Umm Qasr, Iraq.

  • SummaryDaniel Milton (Website; Twitter) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss Tactical Interrogation Reports of the former Caliph of the Islamic State. Al-Mawla was killed in a U.S. raid in February 2022. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe ideological feud between Islamic State and Al Qaeda Islamic State's retreat from a quasi-state centered to a shadowy insurgencyBattlefield intelligence such as “exploitable material” and “interrogation reports”The role of the Combating Terrorism Center in analyzing this intelligenceReflectionsTraining your people for the current fight…and the next one The trade-off between a short-term view and a longer-term viewAnd much, much more…Episode NotesThis week’s episode focuses on battlefield intelligence, or more specifically a series of tactical interrogation reports from 2008. Ok, so why are they significant? Well, the individual being interrogated, Al Mawla, would go on to become the second leader and so-called Caliph of the Islamic State. Ok, so why are they significant beyond that…well, it turns out that Al Mawla was an informant who gave away colleagues and friends to save his own skin, leading to the nickname, “The Canary Caliph.”Daniel Milton joined Andrew to discuss these reports and what they mean in the broader scheme of things. Daniel is the Director of Research at the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point, and he has a Ph.D. from FSU. He has been cited in outlets such as The NYT, BBC, and NBC News and he regularly briefs all levels of the Government, including the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.And…In February 2022, Al Mawla became the second Islamic State Caliph to blow himself up during a U.S. raid. His predecessor Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi had done so in October 2019. I wonder what will happen to the third Caliph…Quote of the Week"I think that's one of my favorite things about looking at this type of material is that it really gives an inside view to organizations that are clandestine and usually not seen very well from the outside, but these documents paint a very vivid picture of struggles, challenges, bureaucratic minutia, whatever the case might be, which is not typically how we think about these organizations, but these documents really allow us to see that." – Daniel MiltonResources*Headline Resources*Al Mawla Interrogation ReportsCTC Sentinel BooksEnemies Near & Far, D. Gartenstein-Ross (CUP, 2022)The ISIS Reader, Ingram et al. (Hurst, 2020)The Rise of Global Jihad, T. Hegghammer (CUP, 2020)Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad, D. Byman (OUP, 2019)Anatomy of Terror, A. Soufan (W.W. Norton, 2017)The Far Enemy, F. Gerges (CUP, 2005)Best Books on the Middle East (Five Books)ArticlesISIS Leader Quraishi Kills Himself, Al-Khalidi & Bose, Reuters (2022)ISIS’S Leadership Crisis, H. Ingram and C. Whiteside, Foreign Affairs (2022)The Islamic State in Afghanistan, A. Jadoon et al., CTC (2022)The Cloud Caliphate, Ayad et al., CTC (2021)Lessons from the Islamic State’s “Milestone” Texts and Speeches, Ingram et al., CTC (2020)Timeline: The Rise, Spread & Fall of the Islamic State, C. Glenn et al., Wilson Center (2019)DocumentaryIraq & Syria: After Islamic State, BBC (2018)Confronting ISIS, PBS Frontline (2016)WebOperation Inherent ResolvePrimary SourcesPresident Biden on a Successful Counterterrorism Operation (2022)Cyber Command’s Internet War Against ISIL (2018)Islamic State Memo for Dealing with New Recruits (2017)Message to the Mujahidin and the Muslim Ummah, Caliph Al Baghdadi (2014)Zawahiri’s Letter to Zarqawi (2005)The Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916)Wildcard Resource“The America I Have Seen”An account of his time living in the U.S. by theorist of violent jihad Sayyid Qutb.

  • SummaryThomas Leahy (Website; LinkedIn) and Eleanor Williams (Website; Twitter) join Andrew to discuss the intelligence war during “the Troubles.” Thomas lives in Cardiff and Eleanor lives in Belfast. What You’ll LearnIntelligenceThe Troubles through the lens of intelligenceSome key intelligence players in the Northern Ireland conflictHow the IRA and the British Army adapted organizationallyThe role intelligence played in the end of the conflictReflectionsThe fluid nature of motivations and intentionsHow historic narratives shape and constrain the here-and-nowAnd much, much more…Episode NotesFrom the late 60’s to the late 90’s Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries, and the British and Irish states, were engaged in a period known as “the Troubles”: a struggle to define or redefine the future of the island of Ireland. This is an issue with deep and complex roots, but the intelligence dimension of the period known as the Troubles is fascinating and often overlooked.To help us get our head around it all, Andrew sat down with two specialists to discuss all things intelligence and the Troubles: from the role that MI5 and MI6 played, to the Force Research Unit and the RUC Special Branch, through to how the IRA played the counterintelligence game and the role that informers, agents and moles, such as the notorious “Stakeknife,” played. Thomas is the author of the Intelligence War Against the IRA, while Eleanor is a doctoral candidate comparing intelligence use during the Northern Irish and Colombian conflicts. And…The head of the Republic of Ireland’s police and security intelligence force, the Garda Síochána, is Drew Harris. Drew Harris was a career Royal Ulster Constabulary officer whose father, also a career RUC officer, was killed by the IRA in 1989. He was the first external appointee from outside the Garda.Quote of the Week"What's their [IRA] main role in this intelligence conflict?...one of the key points here…the IRA was quite highly regional regionalized. That's actually quite key to explain why British intelligence had some difficulties against them…Initially, it was set up similar to armed forces. It would have brigades, battalions and companies…the IRA operated this kind of army structure up to 1975…the IRA then switched to this new strategy…And part of this was to prevent mass infiltration, which had started to become a problem, particularly in Belfast pre-1975. So, what it adopted in Belfast and Derry was a cell structure." – Thomas LeahyResourcesBooksThe Intelligence War Against the IRA, T. Leahy (CUP, 2020)Britain’s Secret War Against the IRA, A. Edwards (Merrion, 2021)Thatcher’s Spy, W. Carlin (Merrion, 2019)The Accidental Spy, S. O’Driscoll (Mirror, 2019)Snitch! S. Hewitt (Continuum, 2010)Infiltrating the IRA, R. Gilmour (LB&C, 1998)Fifty Dead Men Walking, M. McGartland (Blake, 1997)Best Books on the Troubles (Five Books)ArticlesThe Murky World of Spying During the Troubles, J. Ware, Irish Times (2017)Alternative Ulster: How Punk Took on the Troubles, T. Heron, Irish Times (2016)AudioMI5 Chameleon Infiltrated New IRADocumentarySpotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History, BBC (2019)The Spy in the IRA, BBC (2017)Web Operation KenovaMI5 in Northern Ireland Primary SourcesIRA-MI6 Intermediary: Interviews with Brendan Duddy (2009)Good Friday Agreement (1998)Downing Street Declaration (1993)Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985)Thatcher Speech at Airey Neave Memorial (1979)IRA Green Book (1977)PM Wilson & Thatcher discuss N. Ireland (1975)Secret Meetings Between Government and IRA (1972)Senator E. Kennedy, Ulster is Britain’s Vietnam (1971)IRA Reports on Intelligence Informants (1922) W.B. Yeats, “Easter: 1916” (1921)Oral SourcesDuchas Oral History Archive (2014)Wildcard Resource“Murals of Northern Ireland” (4500+ Photographs)